Fleet management is all about risk reduction. Losses go up quickly when fleet vehicles are involved in accidents, which means owners are always exploring strategies to avoid incidents. While fleet owners employ numerous accident reduction techniques, some are more productive than others.
While preventing accidents is essential, protecting company assets is still a basic requirement. That’s why, if you’re looking for commercial auto insurance, ensure the policy provides adequate protection for the company’s assets. The required minimums are generally inadequate in a highly litigious era, so work with an agent to ensure sufficient coverage is purchased. But, the next step is to minimize the odds of company vehicles being involved in accidents. Here are a few proven ways to reduce the incidence of fleet vehicle accidents.
Establish a Company-Wide Driver Safety Program
Every person driving a company vehicle must understand the importance of safety while on the road. The content of a training program will vary depending on the vehicles in the fleet. Driving a large truck requires a different level of training than making deliveries in a small van, but the training for everyone should include dealing with weather-related issues, speeding, inattentive driving, and other common reasons drivers are involved in accidents.
Ensure Every Driver is Qualified
Before hiring anyone who will drive a company vehicle, evaluate their experience before extending an employment offer. Require the applicant to provide a current driving record or have your HR department obtain one from the DMV. Drivers with a history of violations or accidents should not drive company vehicles—the risks are too high. That doesn’t mean declining a job offer for applicants with one or two violations, but it does mean assessing the overall risk when hiring a candidate.
Automate Maintenance Schedules for All Vehicles
Properly maintained vehicles are less likely to be involved in accidents. Computerized applications make tracking a vehicle’s mileage easy, and service schedules triggered by mileage are typical. At the same time, insist that drivers of any company vehicle report any issues immediately rather than driving a vehicle that’s developing a mechanical problem.
Install Digital Tracking Equipment
Today, drivers are accustomed to vehicles equipped with onboard telematics that record their driving behaviors. If drivers exhibit dangerous driving habits, the systems simplify training employees to improve their skills. Even habits like accelerating or braking hard cost the company money and lead to more accidents, which means those habits can and should be addressed to reduce the odds of a driver being involved in an accident.
Take Steps to Avoid Driver Fatigue
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, driver fatigue contributes to roughly 328,000 accidents annually, with approximately one-third of those accidents resulting in injuries. Over 6.400 deaths were attributed to accidents involving overly tired drivers. Set policies that discourage fatigued driving to reduce the chances of accidents. While many new vehicles include crash-avoidance technology, being proactive about driving when too tired will always be necessary.
Tailor an Accident-Reduction Campaign to Fit Your Organization’s Needs
Remember that company needs will vary, so take the time necessary to craft an accident-reduction strategy that works for your drivers and vehicles. At the same time, discuss your company’s insurance needs with an agent to protect the company’s assets in the event of an accident.